If you were to look in my closet, you’d notice a number of similar items, like these two dresses, for instance. My tendency to gravitate to a certain style of shoe (chunky Mary Janes, preferably black), boots (knee-high, brown lace-ups) and sweaters (oversize and loosely woven) is easily discernible. I’ve got a thing for purple dresses, polka dots and wrap dresses, a predilection I’m aware of and actively trying to work on. “Step away from that darling amethyst ruched dress, Silvia! You already have one!”
My penchant for familiar designs, patterns and colors is apparent to those beyond me. On a shopping trip with my middle son, I was discouraged from buying a(nother) pair of cute black shoes because, as he said, I already had a pair just like that at home. He was right.
What is that attracts us to things we already have? Is it comfort? A sense of assurance that that particular style or color or shape “works” for us? And, more importantly, does this tendency to continuously replicate what we already know extend beyond the boundaries of our closets to our broader existences? Specifically – what patterns do we have in our personal lives and are they as flattering on us as a draped jersey wrap dress?
I’ve been divorced for a couple of years now, long enough to have gained some perspective about what did and did not work within what was the longest relationship of my life. While I valued my husband’s comfort with my desire to travel, both with family and solo, I did not appreciate feeling as if my independence was an easy excuse for my having to shoulder (in my eyes) a disproportionate amount of the responsibility for organizing all of our lives. It became a vicious cycle of trying to yield control and then being disappointed by the poor (as perceived by me) management of the task at hand. Naturally, I stopped asking for help. I definitely don’t want this pattern to be replicated in future years.
In a number of my previous romantic relationships, I’ve been inclined to be bossy. It’s simple – I like to take charge and make things happen. You know what, though? I’m tired of driving the bus all of the time and I am hoping to learn to be comfortable in the passenger seat. It’s time to allow someone else to take the wheel for a change. I want to look out the window a little more and not feel as if I always need to focus on what comes next.
I’ve got a pretty good view right now of the garment rack where much of my wardrobe hangs. I see something pink peeking through the purple dress section. There’s also a length of madras nearly brushing the hardwood floor with its eagerness to be worn. If I look closely, I can just barely make out a gorgeous floral print which is almost audible with its promise to show me a wonderful time, if I’ll only take it out on the town for an evening.
Patterns can be broken.